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Cisco maintains its commitment to the development of the Australian National Broadband Network

Earlier this week, we were pleased to announce that Cisco was chosen to supply Multi-Protocol Layer Switching on Cisco routers and firewalls for the Australian National Broadband Network, in a deal that will be worth up to $38 million over five years with NBN Co (see press release here). NBN Co is the company established by the Australian Federal Government to design, build and operate Australia’s wholesale-only, high speed broadband network, the National Broadband Network (NBN). NBN Co predict that the network will roll out to 12 million premises by 2021 passing around 6,000 premises each day – at peak capacity.

This Cisco installation will enable communication between NBN Co’s operations staff and IT systems and the fibre, fixed wireless and satellite equipment dispersed across Australia. Being able to operate the equipment remotely will enable faults to be spotted quickly and efficiently despite the sheer scale of the NBN. The installation will play a major role in activating and assuring services to NBN connected homes and business across Australia.

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Cisco Acquires ThinkSmart Technologies

The widespread proliferation of mobile devices and services provides opportunities for enterprises and service providers to better serve their end users based on location and preferences inside venues and retail spaces. With Cisco’s acquisition of ThinkSmart’s network and Wi-Fi location analytics capabilities announced today, the customer experience in public venues such as retail locations, hotels and airports, is about to get much better.

ThinkSmart Technologies, based in Cork, Ireland, is a software company that delivers location data analysis using Wi-Fi technology. Together, Cisco and ThinkSmart will enhance the wireless network by providing location intelligence and analytics to service provider and enterprise customers to know what is happening in their environments and to better engage end users.

ThinkSmart’s location analytics collects information on movement within a venue including time of day, traffic patterns and dwell times. This information helps enterprises and venue operators improve the customer experience by identifying appropriate staffing levels, reducing wait times, optimizing business processes, and improving customer flows.

Cisco’s vision for mobility solutions will be accelerated by the acquisition of ThinkSmart enabling customers to analyze location data from wireless networks and provide insight that can be used to drive new commercial opportunities and enhance end-user experiences.

ThinkSmart, initially formed at the Incubation Centre of University College Cork, joins Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group. The acquisition closed in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013.

The acquisition of ThinkSmart reinforces Cisco’s commitment to deliver an intelligent network by providing customers with enhanced tools, such as location analytics, that increase the value of the network. This aligns with the core; one of Cisco’s five foundational priorities, by providing differentiated solutions within the infrastructure of the network.

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BYOD: Employee-Led Innovation Goes Global

 Millions consumers around the globe are buying smartphones, tablets, and other advanced mobile devices loaded with features and apps that can be used for business as well as for their own personal communication and entertainment needs. Many of these people have started taking these devices to work and integrating them into their daily workflow. This trend is often called “bring your own device,” or BYOD.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) wanted to know how prevalent BYOD is, and how corporate IT departments are handling these new devices in terms of support, network access, and security. In the spring of 2012, we surveyed 600 IT decision makers in U.S. enterprises, and then expanded our study in the summer of 2012 to include 4,900 IT decision makers in midsize companies and enterprises – in a total of nine countries.

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Cisco Shares Vision for the Connected Car at Demo Expo

Several times each year, Cisco transforms its largest on-campus meeting spaces from auditoria into technology demo extravaganzas.

We call these events ‘Demo Expos’. They’re a core part of how we encourage innovation at Cisco. The basic idea of Demo Expo is to enable engineers from across the company to show their colleagues what they’ve been working on, or to gather feedback on work-in-progress that could improve inventions and ultimately hasten them to commercialization.

Some of the demos are finished products that are already available to customers. Some are prototypes of products that will soon go into production, and some are, well, just concepts.

Last week’s version of Demo Expo brought together 180 demonstrators and more than 2500 employees simultaneously at five of Cisco’s US sites in San Jose, New England, Lawrenceville, Texas and RTP.

One of the demos that caught the eye of a visiting reporter from Wired, was the Cisco Connected Vehicle initiative. It’s a great example of what might be possible when some of the 99.8% of ‘things’ in the world that are not currently connected to the network, join in.

As the author Bob McMillan explains: “The payoff would be a more connected car — one that can switch from 4G to wireless networks while simultaneously streaming a YouTube video to kids in the back without so much as a hiccup. It would be a car that could get firmware updates over the air, and it would also be a lighter vehicle — one that used wireless connections and lighter Ethernet cables.”

I’ll leave you to read Bob’s article on Cisco’s vision for connected vehicles in Wired, but suffice to say, the connected car is coming to a driveway near you in the not-too-distant-future!

CGI2012 Panel: “Business by Design: Growth and Opportunity”

September 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm PST

Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers joined Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein and Dow Chemical Company President, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris on a panel discussion moderated by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.  The title of the panel was “Business by Design: Growth and Opportunity.”  (An edited portion of the panel will air on CNN soon…watch this space for the air date).

Zakaria said that he was an optimist overall when it came to the United States and our prospects for the future.  He spoke about the economic troubles the U.S. has had over the past decades and how we have consistently overcome them.  The trouble with this recovery and economy, he said, is that it is taking jobs a lot longer to come back than what has been historically ordinary.

All of the speakers agreed (generally) that there was optimism to be had in the United States economy, regardless of who is elected President in November.  All of them also agreed that government and business have to partner together to help solve our nation’s problems and take advantage of our many assets.  Blankfein said that many of our problems are self-inflicted and could easily be resolved, such as having a budget for the country.

From Left: Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris and Cisco CEO John Chambers at CGI2012

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